PEKAN, Feb 22 (Bernama) -- Yang di-Pertuan Agong Al-Sultan Abdullah Ri'ayatuddin Al-Mustafa Billah Shah Sultan Haji Ahmad Shah Al-Musta'in Billah today said Pekan district should be given a new identity to mark its status as a royal town.
He said he had consented to the setting up of a committee to undertake the responsibility of managing sultanate land in the district and come up with ideas to rebrand it with the concept of traditional villages.
The committee, he said , would comprise district department heads, including the Land and District Office, the Pahang Islamic Religious and Malay Customs Council, the Pekan Islamic Affairs Office, the Malaysia Royal Police and private individuals.
“The committee’s role will be to look into the progress and development of sultanate land, carry out operations to clean up surrounding areas and combat drug abuse here.
“It will also propose ideas and views to me to rebrand traditional villages in keeping with present times.
"Hopefully, these developments will be accepted by the public and benefit them,” he said in his speech at a gathering with residents of Pekan at the Sultan Haji Ahmad Shah Convention Hall here today.
Also present was Pahang Menteri Besar Datuk Seri Wan Rosdy Wan Ismail and State Secretary Datuk Seri Dr Sallehuddin Ishak as well as about 1,000 of the local residents.
Sultan Abdullah also said people living on sultanate land in Pekan must do their duty by paying the land premium which is RM2 a year, and now in arrears of RM272,644.03.
He said at present there were 5,271 people residing on 919 hectares of land comprising traditional villages like Kampung Mengkasar, Kampung Pekan Lama, Kampung Permatang Pauh, Kampung Polo and Kampung Padang Buluh.
He said the sultanate land in Pekan was created as early as 1919 during the rule of Al-Marhum Paduka Moyang Sultan Abdullah Al-Musta'sim Billah Ibni Al-Marhum Sultan Ahmad Al-Mu'adzam Shah through the Sultanate Land Enactment 1919.
Sultan Abdullah also reminded the local residents to work together to maintain the cleanliness and beauty of their surroundings through three major initiatives, namely early education at home, adults as examples and community awareness.
“I also urge that regular gotong-royong (communal efforts) be carried out without having to wait for directives to be issued or held only during certain seasons to beautify the property on sultanate land,” he said.
Sultan Abdullah also said the local people must be united in fighting the drug menace and murders which occurred in recent times which he found worrying.
“It must be remembered that permission to settle on sultanate land can be withdrawn if there are any abuses like these,” he said.
At the event, Sultan Abdullah also expressed his joy at meeting the people of Pahang after 22 days in Kuala Lumpur after his appointment as Yang di-Pertuan Agong on Jan 31.